HC Deb 13 July 1961 vol 644 cc60-1W
48. Commander Pursey

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, what investigations have been made into the causes of the serious flooding from the River Hull and the failure to give a red warning before the flooding, at the last equinoctial high water spring tide on 20th March, 1961; what is the result of the three months' study of these problems; and what steps are now to be taken to prevent further similar flooding and ensure a red warning before exceptional high tides.

Mr. Vane

As I have explained in answer to previous questions the flooding on 20th March, was due to exceptionally high water levels in the River Hull, following a tidal surge which caused the overtopping of and seepage through wharves. The hon. and gallant Member already knows that a survey is being carried out by the Hull Corporation and they are to consider at a meeting this month the service of Notices on the owners of defective wharves. The forecasting of the height of exceptional tides is never easy. At the time in question the tidal surge had certain unusual features. From experience it did not appear that a red warning following the amber warning already given was justified.

The investigation of the unusual circumstances of this tide has been of value to the technical officers responsible for forecasting the behaviour of tidal surges, and proposed improvements to the East Coast Flood Warning System are now being considered.

49. Commander Pursey

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food till when the Hull and East Yorkshire River Board will accept as satisfactory wooden capping and sand bags for flood prevention work on the wharves of the River Hull; and when the Board will stipulate that such future work must be of a permanent nature and in concrete or sheet steel piling and cross-sections.

Mr. Vane

So far as I am aware neither the River Board nor the Hull Corporation have powers to require the wharf owners themselves to adopt any particular type or standard of construction. Under the Hull Corporation Act of 1925 the wharf owners may only be required to raise their wharves to a certain height.